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Record Warm Week Followed by Snow and Cold

November 3-9, 2020 was the warmest November week in state history:

Now that all the data are into the state database, we can see that it was as we expected the warmest November week in state history (November 3-9).....both on a statewide basis (back to 1895) and also in the Twin Cities climate record (back to 1871) are the figures:

Twin Cities Top Three Warmest Weeks in November
1. Nov 3-9, 2020 Mean Daily Temperature 58.2°F
2. Nov 1-7, 2016 Mean Daily Temperature 55.0°F
3. Nov 12-18, 2001 Mean Daily Temperature 53.9°F

Statewide Top Three Warmest Weeks in November
1. Nov 3-9, 2020 Mean Daily Temperature 52.2°F
2. Nov 1-7, 2016 Mean Daily Temperature 50.8F
3. Nov 12-18, 2001 Mean Daily Temperature 48.9°F

All values ranged from 15 to 20 degrees F above the current normal temperature figures.

Within the Minnesota climate station network, the weeks listed above brought numerous record-setting values of both high daytime maximum temperature and high nighttime minimum temperature.

1. From Nov 12-18, 2001 455 daily temperature records were tied or broken
2. From Nov 1-7, 2016 175 daily temperature records were tied or broken
3. From Nov 3-9, 2020 273 daily temperature records were tied or broken.

November 8, 2020 minimum temperature at International Falls (the Nation's Icebox) was 53°F, the highest November minimum temperature ever measured at International Falls.

The November 7, 2020 minimum temperature of 60°F at MSP also represents the highest minimum temperature ever measured during November in the Twin Cities area (back to 1871), and the highest minimum temperature ever measured statewide on November 7th.

More details on this record November warmth can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.

More snowfall this week and some records broken November 10-11:

A low-pressure system brought widespread snowfall to Minnesota over November 10 (45th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior) and 11 (Veteran’s Day). Widespread amounts ranging from 3 to 8 inches were reported, the most snowfall for these dates since 201\4 in many areas, and for some the most snowfall since the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940. A few places like Brainerd and Hibbing reported 9 inches.

Some climate stations reported new daily record amounts of snowfall, including:
5.5 inches at MSP
7.3 inches at Duluth
5.0 inches at Grand Rapids
9.0 inches at Brainerd
8.0 inches at Babbitt
7.0 inches at Cotton and Ely
6.8 inches at Cloquet
6.3 inches at Floodwood
6.2 inches at Embarrass
6.1 inches at Brimson
6.0 inches at Tower
5.0 inches at Cook
4.5 inches at St Peter

Yet more snow came on Thursday (November 12) during the morning and midday with many places reporting from 2 to 3 inches. Snow squalls reduced visibility severely and there was a 29-vehicle pile-up on I94 between St Michael and Monticello, causing the Minnesota DOT to shut down the Interstate for a period of time. The National Weather Service even issued a snow squall warning for Hennepin and Wright Counties at 9:54 am that morning, citing dangerous driving conditions.

Starting next week it looks like a warmer and drier period of weather may settle across Minnesota and prevail for the balance of the month.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

In the Western Pacific Ocean Typhoon Vamco was moving towards Vietnam this week with winds over 115 mph and sea wave heights in excess of 35 feet. It is expected to weaken but still bring heavy rains to portions of Vietnam by Sunday and Monday. The BBC reported on this.

Meanwhile Tropical Storm Eta brought heavy rains and strong winds (up to 60 mph at Punta Gorda) to portions of Florida on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Portions of central Florida reported 4 to 6 inches of rain. Eta is expected to graze Georgia and Florida and then head out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Argonne National Laboratory reported this week that 3-D printed automated weather stations can be produced for just a few hundred dollars including the measurement devices. This technology may save thousands of dollars over the conventional deployment of automated weather stations. Laboratory personnel are comparing the reliability and accuracy of the two systems through comparison studies in Oklahoma. Science Daily reports on this.

MPR listener question:

We live in Grand Rapids and have been getting plenty of snowfall this week. We wondered what is the state record single day snowfall in November, and what is the record monthly snowfall total?


For Grand Rapids the record single-day snowfall for November is 17.0 inches on November 18, 2016. The record snowfall total for November at Grand Rapids is 28.7 inches in 1965.

The statewide record single-day snowfall for November is 26 inches which occurred at St James (Watonwan County) on November 9, 1943 and at Onamia Ranger Station (Mille Lacs County) on November 3, 1991. The statewide record November total snowfall is 58.6 inches in 1991 at Bruno (Pine County).

Twin Cities Almanac for November 13th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 43 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 28 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 13th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 71 degrees F in 1999; lowest daily maximum temperature of 15 degrees F in 1940; lowest daily minimum temperature of 0 degrees F in 1986; highest daily minimum temperature of 50 degrees F in 2001; record precipitation of 1.04 inches in 1951. Record snowfall is 7.7 inches in 2010.

Average dew point for November 13th is 26°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 55°F in 2001; and the minimum dew point on this date is -7 degrees F in 1986.

All-time state records for November 13th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 79 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 1999. The state record low temperature for this date is -24 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1995. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.80 inches at Sawbill Camp (Cook County) in 1937. Record snowfall is 15.0 inches at Taylors Falls (Chisago County) in 1940.

Past Weather Features:

A winter storm delivered 6-12 inches of snow across northwester and north-central Minnesota on November 13, 1909. Blizzard conditions prevailed in some areas with high winds. Moorhead reported nearly 15 inches of snowfall. Fairmont ended up reporting over 30 inches of snowfall that month.

With abundant snow cover across the state November 13, 1986 brought record cold temperature to many places. Morning low temperatures were subzero across most of the state. Readings in southern Minnesota were as cold as -9°F at Worthington and -7°F at Preston. The daytime high temperature was only 2° at Wadena and Warroad.

November 13, 1999 was especially warm statewide as most areas reported afternoon high temperatures in the 60s and 70s F. Some golf courses were even open for business.


Mostly cloudy over the weekend with a chance for light snow or rain later on Saturday. Continued cooler than normal temperatures through Tuesday of next week, then gradual warming trend towards next weekend. It will generally be a dry period.

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